New parliament a chance to unite Australia

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Australians should brace for choppy waters ahead but know the federal government is committed to steering the ship, Governor-General David Hurley says.

Opening the 47th parliament on Tuesday, Australia's head of state outlined the new government's agenda for the next three years.

Priorities for the Labor government elected in May include aged care, energy, childcare and skills reform as well as enshrining an Indigenous Voice in the constitution.

A commitment to infrastructure investment, quality spending and affordable housing are long-term priorities, Mr Hurley said.

"Major challenges, new and old, are before us and in confronting these challenges this parliament must seek to match the resolve and resilience of the people in whose name you serve," he told parliament.

"In a turbulent world, we can find hope in the strength of our democracy."

Strengthening Australia's standing on the world stage will reflect national values and identity, Mr Hurley said.

"As a home to more than 300 ancestries, Australia can reach into every corner of the world and say, 'we share common ground'," he said.

"We can work together with our partners to secure a region that is stable, prosperous and respectful of sovereignty."

He said for the first time in nine years Australians had voted for change, electing one of the most diverse parliaments in its history.

"All of us can give thanks that changes of government take place peacefully and swiftly in Australia and with respect and courtesy for those with whom we may not agree," he said.

"A change of government represents a chance to bring the nation together anew."

Members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate were sworn in on Tuesday, after the parliament was opened by chief justice Susan Kiefel.

Among them were 35 new lower house members and 12 new senators, including a record 11 Indigenous parliamentarians.

After an ecumenical church service, MPs gathered for an Indigenous welcome to country and smoking ceremony at Parliament House.

The Senate elected WA Labor senator Sue Lines as president, while the House of Representatives chose Queensland Labor MP Milton Dick as Speaker.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese urged MPs to use their time in parliament to the fullest.

"Don't miss the chance because you're not here for that long, none of us will be," he said.

"When you're sitting on the porch, thinking about what you did, you can either have a source of pride or a source of regret. There's no middle path."

The Labor government is set to introduce 18 pieces of legislation in the first sitting week.

The government plans to introduce legislation for a new carbon-emissions target, domestic violence leave, creating the agency Jobs and Skills Australia, and aged-care reform measures.

A private member's bill paving the way for the Northern Territory and ACT to debate and potentially legislate for voluntary euthanasia will be introduced to parliament next Monday.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton acknowledged the record number of Indigenous MPs taking their place at parliament for the new term.

"We're incredibly proud of the fact we have eight senators, three members of the House of Representatives, as part of this 47th parliament," he said.

Mr Albanese said he wanted to see more unity in the parliament.

"I want to see a parliament that functions much better than the last one. One where there's genuine debate and dialogue and discussion," he told reporters in Canberra.

"I want more unity, less division. I want to bring the country together with a sense of our common purpose, which is there."

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